This week was a sneak peak into what the rainy season will be like in Lebanon. In some cities floods engulfed cars up their windows, while in others the roofs barely poked through. And this is just the start of the season and a taste of the weather effects from climate change. A latest tragedy is that a man died in his car, and members of the acting government are blaming plastic bags for choking the storm sewers:
A man just died from the flooding and the acting government officials, the Minister of Public Works in the caretaker government, Ali Hamiyeh, retorted that it happened because the drain sewers were clogged with plastic bags.
Time to invest in a hovercraft or a climate change evacuation skirt?
Lebanon is not functioning without a government. And each unit is blaming the other.
Corruption leading downfall in Lebanon
In an interview with Voice of the People, Hamiyeh said, “Our teams have turned into waste removal teams, and the ministry and its teams cannot play the role of others.” He added: “We, as the Ministry of Works, cannot turn to a waste removal company while the waste removal companies receive their money.”
The power is only on an hour or two a day, storm drains are clogged with trash leading to rainwater flooding, munitions stockpiled explode with no warning and people are basically holding up their own banks at gunpoint to withdraw money from their own accounts.
Lebanon, in short, is a country with so much potential to lead the Arab world and the Middle East in the middle ground (look at their art and craft movement) but citizens are hardly holding on to the basic needs of life. Lebanon is enduring a humanitarian catastrophe created by a financial meltdown. It is in bad times like these where terror groups and infidels can jump in.
If the Lebanese got it bad, Syrian refugees in Lebanon have it worse. They now face a cholera epidemic. Transmitted through contaminated water, the diarrhoea, vomiting and rapid dehydration caused by cholera can be fatal without treatment.
Easy solutions for solving the plastics problem?
It’s important that Lebanon or anywhere has an election free of corruption and that the right leaders get into power, stay in power and that these leaders work hard to not be assassinated. No one can think about climate goals if they are running a generator to keep their fridge cold or the lights on.
Invest in better journalism
No Middle East countries except for Israel have free and open speech. Whistleblowers over pollution in Turkey, Iran and Syria get threatened by jail, they killed or they are isolated from their society. Let’s see some Go Fund Me campaigns to help the Lebanese invest in better journalism. Or parachute in and try it yourself. It’s a dangerous job though.
Live closer to your values
Want to buy-out of capitalism? Start running solar energy DIY kits, and build more down to earth passive energy buildings that require no energy to heat or cool. Start with Bill and Athena Steens’ work with strawbale building. Hassan Fathy is a good one too. Caltech and adobe buildings started by Nader Khalili of Iran. Basically try to start building your life so it less dependent on the capitalistic systems that hold the world together.
Live plastic free
It’s pretty impossible but you can try. Stop buying bottled water and soft drinks. Make your own natural juices instead. Drink more bottled beer. LOL. Take reusable sacs and fill up your own dry goods at the nuts and seeds vendor near you. Middle East markets are full of your local spice guys. Find your favorite. On that vein, don’t buy plastic-covered fast food or frozen food. Make your own and avoid buying baked goods that come in those hard plastic cases. Tell your favorite bakery you will come back to shop when they start serving their sweet things in a paper box.